Paid time off (PTO): Three of the most wonderful words in the English language. And yet, there never seems to be enough of it.
With 2024 fast approaching, dreams of next year’s vacations and staycations might be dancing in your head. If so, planning is key — and financial whiz John Liang has some advice on how to maximize your days off in the year ahead.
Liang shared his strategy in a TikTok video, explaining how to take advantage of federal holidays to stretch your PTO as far as it can go. With a good amount of planning and foresight, he says you can amass more than 50 work-free days in 2024.
Of course, that number may be different depending on the demands of your job. Some folks don’t get federal holidays off, or work in a place where weekend shifts are the norm. Or they might have a situation in which PTO is limited to begin with. All of this to say: your mileage may vary.
You can still take a close look at the calendar and try to bump up your days off with a long weekend here or there. It might not add up to 50-plus days, but any day off is a good one!
The plan kicks off with the New Year: Take Tuesday, Jan. 2 off and you’ll get a tasty four-day weekend right off the bat. Then request Jan. 16, The Tuesday right after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, for another four-day stretch off the clock.
President’s Day is up next in February; try to build in a PTO day on either side of the weekend to get a nice extended period of rest. Liang outlines the rest of his PTO planning in a TikTok clip that went viral, with more than 1.6 million views to date:
Liang recommends putting in your PTO requests as soon as you can to get the dates off that you desire. Basically, you’re just stringing together as many days off as possible by linking PTO with weekends and holidays.
It should be noted you’re not actually getting more than your allotted share of PTO days — and Liang may be engaging in a bit of hyperbole by including weekend days you already have off. Still, by adding days to the front or back ends of already-existing holidays your company has built into the 2024 schedule, you can stretch your vacation time a bit further and take smaller trips more often, as compared to a single one-week annual vacation with maybe a couple of long weekends mixed in.
That way, you get more time to do the things you’d actually like to do! And that’s a beautiful thing.
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